Thursday, May 16, 2013

Manta Ray vs Stingray: What's The Difference?

It has come to my attention that many people aren't sure what the difference is between a manta ray and a stingray, and often misuse the two terms. Let me clarify.

In short, a manta ray is a type of stingray. A manta ray is to a stingray like a boa is to a snake.

I've noticed some people will slap term "manta ray" onto any old stingray, which is incorrect, as a manta ray is a specific genus within the ray group.

This is what a manta ray looks like:

The manta ray has distinct white markings and cephalic fins on either side of the head. And it's huge.
This is what a southern stingray looks like:

A southern stingray is NOT a manta ray.
This is what a cownose ray looks like:

A cownose ray is NOT a manta ray.
The manta ray genus is within the eagle ray family. This is what a spotted eagle ray looks like:

A spotted eagle ray is NOT a manta ray.
Once again, the manta ray:

A manta ray IS a manta ray.
Hope this clears some things up! Now please don't ever call a stingray a manta ray again.

3 comments:

Jaimie said...

I've been teaching my two year old that her little model eagle ray was a manta ray ALL. THIS. TIME. haha. Thanks for the clarification! I hope she takes the news OK.

Debi's Cali-bound dream days said...

FYI. A Manta Ray is NOT a type of Stingray as you mention in your analogy. They are types of ray and there are only two types of Manta Rays.

Surfer/KittyCat girl said...

So is Mr.Ray a Manta Ray OR a Eagle ray?

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